Lachlan Coote has committed to the Cowboys
Lachlan Coote has committed to the Cowboys MICHAEL CHAMBERS

Coote says no to move from Cowboys

LACHLAN Coote has repaid North Queensland for sticking by him after he ruptured his ACL two years ago, rejecting huge money offers to re-sign until at least the end of 2018.

The Sydney Roosters and St George Illawarra were the two main suitors among a host of clubs chasing his signature, with Newcastle, the Gold Coast and Canberra also reportedly interested in the 26-year-old, who was instrumental in North Queensland winning its maiden NRL premiership last year. Coote had a disastrous start to his career with the Cowboys after switching from Penrith, tearing his ACL in the first game for his new club at the Auckland Nines in 2014.

After missing the entire season, he eventually won a tussle with Michael Morgan for the No.1 jumper last year, after Morgan had been outstanding at fullback while Coote had been sidelined. It's believed Coote could have made at least $200,000 a season more had he left the Cowboys. But he will be 28 at the end of 2018 and a prime target for clubs who will be operating with a bigger salary cap by then.

"I'm extremely pleased to remain a Cowboy," he said. "I've had a memorable time here so far; we won the premiership last year; and I just love playing with these boys."

Green said Coote was a class act who was playing some of the best rugby league of his career.

"His positional play at fullback is second to none and he gives us a genuine attacking option alongside our halves," he said.

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